Photo by Heather Middleton
By Doug Gorman
Stockbridge basketball player Dante Campbell is the Tigers' go-to-guy.
The man head coach Duane Kelley wants handling the basketball
when the Tigers need a spark.
Wednesday afternoon he came through in a huge way, lifting the Tigers to a 68-48 victory over Sandy Creek in the Region 4-AAA Tournament opener.
Campbell finished the game with 37 points and 11 rebounds to help the Tigers get past Sandy Creek and win the first-round of the Region 4-AAA Tournament at Drew High School. The victory also assures the Tigers a spot in the 32-team Class AAA tournament starting next week.
The Tigers needed a second-half run to pull away from Sandy Creek after only leading 27-26.
"After this game, I really feel like I can play with everybody," Campbell said. "It was one of the best games of my season. Coach Kelley told me big time players step up big time and that's what I tried to do in the second half. I didn't want my
high school career to end tonight."
The Tigers pulled way in the second half after building a 45-30 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Stockbridge grabbed the momentum with some stellar defense.
"We tightened up on the defense," Kelley said. "Until about two or three minutes left in the game we had only given up 11 points in the second half.
DeShawm Badget added 11 points for the Stockbridge.
Campbell showed in Wednesday's win his ability to score both from the inside and the outside, hitting four 3-pointers for the game. Tyler Fields led Sandy Creek with 17.
Kelly said he believes Campbell can carry the Tigers a long way.
"We feel like he is one of the better players in the region, if not the best player in the region."
`Eagle's Landing 70, Eastside 50: There wasn't a whole lot Eastside could do Wednesday night to stop the No. 10-ranked Eagle's Landing Golden Eagles.
Eagle's Landing started shooting 3-pointers from the start of the game and never let Eastside in the game
The Golden Eagles hit13 treys for the game and it translated into a 20-point, 70-50 victory over Eastside in the first round of the Region 4-AAAA Tournament at Drew High School.
Aaron Horton had the hot hand for the Golden Eagles. finishing with seven treys for the game and finishing with a game-high 27. Issac Dennis added 18 for Eagle;s Landing.
Horton had three treys for the Golden Eagles in the third quarter to push the lead to 52-35.
"We work lot on shooting like everybody, but tonight they fell," said Eagle's Landing coach Clay Crump. "When you play decent defense and you shoot like we did, it's hard to overcome."
Drew 65, Spalding 55: The Drew Titans made some a little bit of history Wednesday night, rolling to a 65-55 victory over Spalding in the first round of the Regio 4-AAAA tournament.
With the win, the second-year program advances to the semifinals of the Region 4-AAAA Tournament to play Henry County, but they also make the state tournment for the first time.
Drew fell behind 20-10 at the half then clawed its way back with a pressing defense that created several turnovers.
"We just tried to change things up defensively," Drew head coach Jarrod Davis said. "The best thing about it, we didn't get rattled too much after we fell behind."
The Titans cut Spalding's lead to 29-28 at the half and then pulled out to a 48-45 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Antonio Garcia led Drew with 15 points and Eloka Olisa added 11.
Jarrod Davis is happy his team is headed to state, but he knows they have to play better during the rest of the region tournament after it gets to the state tournament.
Jonathan Garland led Spalding with 22.
"Henry County is much quicker than Spalding, we are going to have to be ready for that."
Henry County 73, Jackson 62: The Henry County Warhawks are headed back to the state tournament. First they have some unfinished business at the Region 4-AAAA Tournament.
Wednesday night, the Warhawks picked up 22 points from Tae Bega to beat one of their long time rivals in Jackson, in first round action at the Region 4-AAA tournament at Drew.
They now move on to play Drew.